DEAD FLOWERS OUT OF THE GARDEN
June 19 – July 30, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by French-Canadian, Chicago-based artist, Cindy Phenix, on view in Brussels from June 19th through July 30th. The exhibition, titled Dead Flowers out of the Garden, will mark Phenix’s second solo show with Nino Mier Gallery and her first solo presentation in Belgium.
Across a new body of work, Cindy Phenix explores the notions of “labor” (survival), “work” (creativity), and “action” (politics), as described by philosopher Hannah Arendt in her seminal text, The Human Condition. Phenix is specifically drawn to how Arendt represents these three concepts in reference to the relationship between the environment and biodiversity, theater and exploration, and protest and technology. Investigating our relationship with nature, Phenix considers how humans navigate, exploit, and transform our environment. Developing her examination further, Phenix also looks towards language and how the ways in which we communicate lead to the creation of our own myths and stories. For Phenix, communication is always politically embedded, not only in the sense that political policies are constituted by public discourse, but also in how politics shape human discourse. This tenuous relationship between public and private has been at the core of Phenix’s artistic practice as she explores socially constructed norms and power dynamics, as well as the emotions they trigger. Over the years, Phenix’s multidisciplinary works have been regularly informed by participatory discussion groups that she initiates and organizes.
Formed by thick impastos and untouched surfaces, Phenix’s works seem as if they are in the process of finding their form as they piece themselves together. Drawn lines are juxtaposed with painted parts, not only highlighting the raw potential of the material and the gesturalism of the applied paint, but also establishing an interplay between abstraction and figuration. The fragmented figures and monstrous creatures that inhabit Phenix’s surfaces construct an ambiguous narrative. Hard to identify, they call the attention of the viewer and offer the responsibility of interpretation. This internal ambiguity, together with misshapen monstrosities and raw materiality, imply a gathering of forces and the possibility of reconfiguration, namely the ability to transmute into something new.
Cindy Phenix (b. 1989 in Montreal, lives and works in Chicago) received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University in Evanston in 2020 and her BFA with distinction from Concordia University in Montreal in 2016. Her work will be exhibited in a forthcoming exhibition at Stewart Hall Art Gallery and has been included in many exhibitions: Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Nino Mier (Los Angeles), 6018|North (Chicago), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver) and Galerie Hugues Charbonneau (Montreal). Phenix’s works are part of private collections in the US and Canada including Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec and Hydro-Québec.